The forum brought together residents of Ngei Ward; community groups; religious groups, individuals and prospective candidates for the Member of the County Assembly from different political parties in Ngei Ward.
The event was attended by 120 participants and facilitated by Mr. Tony Mboyo and Mr. Felix Odhiambo.
To provide a platform to the public that shifts political agenda from politician-led to community-led and give community members the opportunity to assess and ascertain the suitability of potential leaders to vie for public office;
To cultivate, shape and sustain issue-based electoral process that utilizes the principle of leadership and integrity as the supreme criteria of choosing potential leaders;
To increase and sustain productive engagement between the potential duty bearers and the right holders through public participation in a way that fosters responsiveness and responsibility.
In the preliminary sessions the moderator engaged both the aspirants and residents in understanding the roles and responsibilities of an elected Member of the County Assembly for Ngei Ward. This was followed by Setting of Ground Rules and Explanation of how the debate shall be conducted. The session that followed focused on presenting the cross-cutting developmental needs of Ngei ward as captured in the needs assessment forum preceding the political debate. Each aspirant each aspirant was then given an opportunity to articulate their manifestos/agenda to the electorate in line with the ward’s pressing developmental needs. The subsequent session involved question and answer session that involved the residents vetting the suitability of each candidate through putting each of them to task to outline different developmental concerns that were being raised by the residents.
A total of five aspirants (5): Boniface Mwendwa, Joseph Chilingi, Michael Makau, Bonface Abuko, and Evans Asudi were brought on board to engage the residents and articulate their agenda to the ward and motivation to vie for public office;
The residents of Ngei ward used the Sauti Yetu political debate platform to assess the suitability of each aspirants to represent them;
Unlike in other circumstances where incumbent leaders shy away from debates with the public for fear of being put to task to justify their development record, Sauti Yetu managed to bring the incumbent MCA on board to respond to benchmark his development record against what he promised the residents in the previous election;
The Ngei ward political debate played a central role in cultivating and encouraging campaigns based key developmental issues affecting, marking a major shift from conventional campaigns that are characterized with personal attacks and propaganda.